Ospreys Rugby are delighted to announce that Owen Watkin has become the third player to commit to the region this month.
The 21-year old from Bridgend has signed a new two-year contract that ties him to the Ospreys until at least summer 2020.
One the brightest prospects in Welsh rugby, Watkin has already played 24 times for his home region, scoring three tries, and won his first senior Wales caps in November.
“I’m happy to commit to the Ospreys, I’m enjoying playing here, enjoying my time with the boys, and I’m looking forward to the future and what we can achieve as a team” Watkin said.
“I’m just looking to play for the region as much as I can for as long as I can. It was a great experience for me in the autumn with Wales but it’s important I bring that back to the Ospreys and use it to learn and continue developing.
“This is a great place for development, there are a lot of young players who have come through to play for the senior team, boys I played alongside at age-grade, and that shows the system here works. I’m really proud to be a part of it and really excited about the next couple of years.”
Watkin came through the regional development pathway via Bryncethin RFC, Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd, Bridgend College and the Ospreys age-grade set-up. A WRU U18 title winner in 2015 alongside the likes of Keelan Giles and Will Jones, he was capped by Wales U18 and U20 level, winning a Grand Slam the following year.
He made his senior Ospreys debut in September 2015, catching the eye in an 18-20 Liberty Stadium defeat to Munster, with his Champions Cup debut coming four months later away to Exeter Chiefs, as he totalled 13 appearances in his first season.
Having sat out the following campaign through injury Watkin has underlined his potential during this campaign, featuring regularly in midfield, including starts in all six of the region’s Champions Cup matches. His total of 13 defenders beaten in the Round 6 game against Clermont Auvergne equaled the all-time competition best, his total of 28 across the pool stages the second highest tally of the season.
Called up by Warren Gatland ahead of the autumn internationals in November, Watkin was handed a first senior cap off the bench against Australia, starting against Georgia a week later. Earlier this month he was named in a Six Nations squad for the first time and reported for duty at the Vale on Monday.
Dan Griffiths, Rugby General Manager at the Ospreys, welcomed the news saying:
“Owen is someone we identified very early on as having the potential to become an Osprey and he has already shown that he can thrive at this level. He is level headed, eager to learn, and he combines skill and physicality, a great mix for someone in his position.
“He’s already been able to gain considerable experience for someone so young but he’s not the kind of person to get ahead of himself, he knows that he has to continue working hard over the duration of this new contract to ensure he reaches his full potential.
“We are excited about seeing him continue to develop in an Ospreys shirt over the next two years and no doubt out supporters share that excitement.”
Adam Beard and Olly Cracknell have already signed new deals this month, following on from the confirmation of Aled Davies and Scott Williams being added to the squad for next season.